Design Beautiful REST + JSON APIs

201,869 views
204,545 views

Published on

Les Hazlewood, Stormpath co-founder and CTO and the Apache Shiro PMC Chair demonstrates how to design a beautiful REST + JSON API. Includes the principles of RESTful design, how REST differs from XML, tips for increasing adoption of your API, and security concerns.

Presentation video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WXYw4J4QOU
More info: http://www.stormpath.com/blog/designing-rest-json-apis
Further reading: http://www.stormpath.com/blog

Stormpath is a user management and authentication service for developers. By offloading user management and authentication to Stormpath, developers can bring applications to market faster, reduce development costs, and protect their users. Easy and secure, the flexible cloud service can manage millions of users with a scalable pricing model.

Published in: Technology, Design
13 Comments
409 Likes
Statistics
Notes
No Downloads
Views
Total views
201,869
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
70,158
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
3,940
Comments
13
Likes
409
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Design Beautiful REST + JSON APIs

  1. 1. Beautiful REST + JSON APIs Les Hazlewood @lhazlewood CTO, Stormpath stormpath.com
  2. 2. .com • Identity Management and Access Control API • Security for your applications • User security workflows • Security best practices • Developer tools, SDKs, libraries
  3. 3. Outline • APIs, REST & JSON • REST Fundamentals • Design Base URL Versioning Resource Format Return Values Content Negotiation References (Linking) Pagination Query Parameters Associations Errors IDs Method Overloading Resource Expansion Partial Responses Caching & Etags Security Multi Tenancy Maintenance
  4. 4. APIs • • • • • Applications Developers Pragmatism over Ideology Adoption Scale Learn more at Stormpath.com
  5. 5. Why REST? • • • • • • Scalability Generality Independence Latency (Caching) Security Encapsulation Learn more at Stormpath.com
  6. 6. Why JSON? • • • • • Ubiquity Simplicity Readability Scalability Flexibility Learn more at Stormpath.com
  7. 7. HATEOAS • • • • • • • Hypermedia As The Engine Of Application State Further restriction on REST architectures. Learn more at Stormpath.com
  8. 8. REST Is Easy Learn more at Stormpath.com
  9. 9. REST Is *&@#$! Hard (for providers) Learn more at Stormpath.com
  10. 10. REST can be easy (if you follow some guidelines) Learn more at Stormpath.com
  11. 11. Example Domain: Stormpath • • • • • • Applications Directories Accounts Groups Associations Workflows
  12. 12. Fundamentals Learn more at Stormpath.com
  13. 13. Resources Nouns, not Verbs Coarse Grained, not Fine Grained Architectural style for use-case scalability Learn more at Stormpath.com
  14. 14. What If? /getAccount /createDirectory /updateGroup /verifyAccountEmailAddress Learn more at Stormpath.com
  15. 15. What If? /getAccount /getAllAccounts /searchAccounts /createDirectory /createLdapDirectory /updateGroup /updateGroupName /findGroupsByDirectory /searchGroupsByName /verifyAccountEmailAddress /verifyAccountEmailAddressByToken … Smells like bad RPC. DON‟T DO THIS. Learn more at Stormpath.com
  16. 16. Keep It Simple Learn more at Stormpath.com
  17. 17. The Answer Fundamentally two types of resources: Collection Resource Instance Resource Learn more at Stormpath.com
  18. 18. Collection Resource /applications Learn more at Stormpath.com
  19. 19. Instance Resource /applications/a1b2c3 Learn more at Stormpath.com
  20. 20. Behavior • • • • • GET PUT POST DELETE HEAD Learn more at Stormpath.com
  21. 21. Behavior POST, GET, PUT, DELETE ≠ 1:1 Create, Read, Update, Delete Learn more at Stormpath.com
  22. 22. Behavior As you would expect: GET = Read DELETE = Delete HEAD = Headers, no Body Learn more at Stormpath.com
  23. 23. Behavior Not so obvious: PUT and POST can both be used for Create and Update Learn more at Stormpath.com
  24. 24. PUT for Create Identifier is known by the client: PUT /applications/clientSpecifiedId { … } Learn more at Stormpath.com
  25. 25. PUT for Update Full Replacement PUT /applications/existingId { “name”: “Best App Ever”, “description”: “Awesomeness” } Learn more at Stormpath.com
  26. 26. PUT Idempotent Learn more at Stormpath.com
  27. 27. POST as Create On a parent resource POST /applications { “name”: “Best App Ever” } Response: 201 Created Location: https://api.stormpath.com/applications/a1b2c3 Learn more at Stormpath.com
  28. 28. POST as Update On instance resource POST /applications/a1b2c3 { “name”: “Best App Ever. Srsly.” } Response: 200 OK Learn more at Stormpath.com
  29. 29. POST NOT Idempotent Learn more at Stormpath.com
  30. 30. Media Types • Format Specification + Parsing Rules • Request: Accept header • Response: Content-Type header • • • • application/json application/foo+json application/foo+json;application … Learn more at Stormpath.com
  31. 31. Design Time! Learn more at Stormpath.com
  32. 32. Base URL Learn more at Stormpath.com
  33. 33. http(s)://api.foo.com vs http://www.foo.com/dev/service/api/rest Learn more at Stormpath.com
  34. 34. http(s)://api.foo.com Rest Client vs Browser Learn more at Stormpath.com
  35. 35. Versioning Learn more at Stormpath.com
  36. 36. URL https://api.stormpath.com/v1 vs. Media-Type application/foo+json;application&v=1 Learn more at Stormpath.com
  37. 37. Resource Format Learn more at Stormpath.com
  38. 38. Media Type Content-Type: application/json When time allows: application/foo+json application/foo+json;bar=baz&v=1 … Learn more at Stormpath.com
  39. 39. camelCase „JS‟ in „JSON‟ = JavaScript myArray.forEach Not myArray.for_each account.givenName Not account.given_name Underscores for property/function names are unconventional for JS. Stay consistent. Learn more at Stormpath.com
  40. 40. Date/Time/Timestamp There‟s already a standard. Use it: ISO 8601 Example: { …, “createdTimestamp”: “2012-07-10T18:02:24.343Z” } Use UTC! Learn more at Stormpath.com
  41. 41. Response Body Learn more at Stormpath.com
  42. 42. GET obvious What about POST? Return the representation in the response when feasible. Add override (?_body=false) for control Learn more at Stormpath.com
  43. 43. Content Negotiation Learn more at Stormpath.com
  44. 44. Header • Accept header • Header values comma delimited in order of preference GET /applications/a1b2c3 Accept: application/json, text/plain Learn more at Stormpath.com
  45. 45. Resource Extension /applications/a1b2c3.json /applications/a1b2c3.csv … Conventionally overrides Accept header Learn more at Stormpath.com
  46. 46. HREF • Distributed Hypermedia is paramount! • Every accessible Resource has a canonical unique URL • Replaces IDs (IDs exist, but are opaque). • Critical for linking, as we‟ll soon see Learn more at Stormpath.com
  47. 47. Instance w/ HREF (v1) GET /accounts/x7y8z9 200 OK { “href”: “https://api.stormpath.com/v1/accounts/x7y8z9”, “givenName”: “Tony”, “surname”: “Stark”, ... } Learn more at Stormpath.com
  48. 48. Resource References aka „Linking‟ (v1) Learn more at Stormpath.com
  49. 49. • Hypermedia is paramount. • Linking is fundamental to scalability. • Tricky in JSON • XML has it (XLink), JSON doesn‟t • How do we do it? Learn more at Stormpath.com
  50. 50. Instance Reference (v1) GET /accounts/x7y8z9 200 OK { “href”: “https://api.stormpath.com/v1/accounts/x7y8z9”, “givenName”: “Tony”, “surname”: “Stark”, …, “directory”: ???? } Learn more at Stormpath.com
  51. 51. Instance Reference (v1) GET /accounts/x7y8z9 200 OK { “href”: “https://api.stormpath.com/v1/accounts/x7y8z9”, “givenName”: “Tony”, “surname”: “Stark”, …, “directory”: { “href”: “https://api.stormpath.com/v1/directories/g4h5i6” } } Learn more at Stormpath.com
  52. 52. Collection Reference (v1) GET /accounts/x7y8z9 200 OK { “href”: “https://api.stormpath.com/v1/accounts/x7y8z9”, “givenName”: “Tony”, “surname”: “Stark”, …, “groups”: { “href”: “https://api.stormpath.com/v1/accounts/x7y8z9/groups” } } Learn more at Stormpath.com
  53. 53. Linking v2 (recommended) Learn more at Stormpath.com
  54. 54. Instance HREF (v2) GET /accounts/x7y8z9 200 OK { “meta”: { “href”: “https://api.stormpath.com/v1/accounts/x7y8z9”, “mediaType”: “application/ion+json;version=2&schema=...” }, “givenName”: “Tony”, “surname”: “Stark”, … } Learn more at Stormpath.com
  55. 55. Instance Reference (v2) GET /accounts/x7y8z9 200 OK { “meta”: { ... }, “givenName”: “Tony”, “surname”: “Stark”, …, “directory”: { “meta”: { “href”: “https://api.stormpath.com/v1/directories/g4h5i6” “mediaType”: “application/ion+json;version=2&schema=...” } } } Learn more at Stormpath.com
  56. 56. Collection Reference (v2) GET /accounts/x7y8z9 200 OK { “meta”: { ... }, “givenName”: “Tony”, “surname”: “Stark”, …, “groups”: { “meta”: { “href”: “https://api.stormpath.com/v1/accounts/x7y8z9/groups”, “mediaType”: “application/ioncoll+json;version=2&schema=...” } } } Learn more at Stormpath.com
  57. 57. Reference Expansion (aka Entity Expansion, Link Expansion) Learn more at Stormpath.com
  58. 58. Account and its Directory? Learn more at Stormpath.com
  59. 59. GET /accounts/x7y8z9?expand=directory 200 OK { “meta”: {...}, “givenName”: “Tony”, “surname”: “Stark”, …, “directory”: { “meta”: { ... }, “name”: “Avengers”, “description”: “Hollywood’s hope for more $”, “creationDate”: “2012-07-01T14:22:18.029Z”, … } } Learn more at Stormpath.com
  60. 60. Partial Representations Learn more at Stormpath.com
  61. 61. GET /accounts/x7y8z9?fields=givenName,surname, directory(name) Learn more at Stormpath.com
  62. 62. Pagination Learn more at Stormpath.com
  63. 63. Collection Resource supports query params: • Offset • Limit …/applications?offset=50&limit=25 Learn more at Stormpath.com
  64. 64. GET /accounts/x7y8z9/groups 200 OK { “meta”: { ... }, “offset”: 0, “limit”: 25, “first”: { “meta”:{“href”: “…/accounts/x7y8z9/groups?offset=0”}}, “previous”: null, “next”: { “meta”:{“href”: “…/accounts/x7y8z9/groups?offset=25”}}, “last”: { “meta”:{“href”: “…”}}, “items”: [ { “meta”: { “href”: “…”, ...} }, { “meta”: { “href”: “…”, ...} }, … ] } Learn more at Stormpath.com
  65. 65. Many To Many Learn more at Stormpath.com
  66. 66. Group to Account • A group can have many accounts • An account can be in many groups • Each mapping is a resource: GroupMembership Learn more at Stormpath.com
  67. 67. GET /groupMemberships/23lk3j2j3 200 OK { “meta”:{“href”: “…/groupMemberships/23lk3j2j3”}, “account”: { “meta”:{“href”: “…”} }, “group”: { “meta”{“href”: “…”} }, … } Learn more at Stormpath.com
  68. 68. GET /accounts/x7y8z9 200 OK { “meta”:{“href”: “…/accounts/x7y8z9”}, “givenName”: “Tony”, “surname”: “Stark”, …, “groups”: { “meta”:{“href”: “…/accounts/x7y8z9/groups”} }, “groupMemberships”: { “meta”:{“href”: “…/groupMemberships?accountId=x7y8z9”} } } Learn more at Stormpath.com
  69. 69. Errors Learn more at Stormpath.com
  70. 70. • As descriptive as possible • As much information as possible • Developers are your customers Learn more at Stormpath.com
  71. 71. POST /directories 409 Conflict { “status”: 409, “code”: 40924, “property”: “name”, “message”: “A Directory named „Avengers‟ already exists.”, “developerMessage”: “A directory named „Avengers‟ already exists. If you have a stale local cache, please expire it now.”, “moreInfo”: “https://www.stormpath.com/docs/api/errors/4092 4” } Learn more at Stormpath.com
  72. 72. Security Learn more at Stormpath.com
  73. 73. Avoid sessions when possible Authenticate every request if necessary Stateless Authorize based on resource content, NOT URL! Use Existing Protocol: Oauth 1.0a, Oauth2, Basic over SSL only Custom Authentication Scheme: Only if you provide client code / SDK Only if you really, really know what you‟re doing Use API Keys instead of Username/Passwords Learn more at Stormpath.com
  74. 74. 401 vs 403 • 401 “Unauthorized” really means Unauthenticated “You need valid credentials for me to respond to this request” • 403 “Forbidden” really means Unauthorized “I understood your credentials, but so sorry, you‟re not allowed!” Learn more at Stormpath.com
  75. 75. HTTP Authentication Schemes • Server response to issue challenge: WWW-Authenticate: <scheme name> realm=“Application Name” • Client request to submit credentials: Authorization: <scheme name> <data> Learn more at Stormpath.com
  76. 76. API Keys • • • • • • Entropy Password Reset Independence Speed Limited Exposure Traceability Learn more at Stormpath.com
  77. 77. IDs Learn more at Stormpath.com
  78. 78. • IDs should be opaque • Should be globally unique • Avoid sequential numbers (contention, fusking) • Good candidates: UUIDs, „Url64‟ Learn more at Stormpath.com
  79. 79. HTTP Method Overrides Learn more at Stormpath.com
  80. 80. POST /accounts/x7y8z9?_method=DELETE Learn more at Stormpath.com
  81. 81. Caching & Concurrency Control Learn more at Stormpath.com
  82. 82. Server (initial response): ETag: "686897696a7c876b7e” Client (later request): If-None-Match: "686897696a7c876b7e” Server (later response): 304 Not Modified Learn more at Stormpath.com
  83. 83. Maintenance Learn more at Stormpath.com
  84. 84. Use HTTP Redirects Create abstraction layer / endpoints when migrating Use well defined custom Media Types Learn more at Stormpath.com
  85. 85. .com • Free for developers • Eliminate months of development • Automatic security best practices Sign Up Now: Stormpath.com

×